Category Archives: touring bike
Geoff’s Raphael Cycles Touring Bike
Geoff's Raphael Cycles Touring Bike

Like many framebuilders, Rafi Ajl began his love for the bicycle at a young age but it wasn’t until after graduating from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design that he began pursuing his love for building bicycle frames. Ajl’s background is fine art and as such, his bicycles began functional art. Something you would not only love to look at, but would love to ride and would be able to do so for the rest of your life.

Perhaps it was Rafi’s passion for art, design and the bicycle that drew Geoff from Box Dog Bikes, a local, owner run co-op bicycle shop in the Mission of SF to Raphael Cycles’ work. Or maybe it was the proximity. Rafi Ajl is no longer making frames, but when he was, Raphael Cycles was literally blocks away from Box Dog Bikes.

Geoff wanted a classic touring bike with external routing, fender, rack mounts and a 1″ threaded headset. A seasoned tourer, randonnée, cyclocross racer, shredder of vintage mountain bikes and all-around capable cyclist, Geoff knew exactly what he wanted and has been thoroughly enjoying this bike. As evident by the years of use.

A SON hub powers the S3 lighting and a well-positioned and broken in Brooks saddle cushions and inviting a ride, so much that I pedaled this bike for an hour or so before finding the perfect spot to photograph it.

Aug 11, 2015 35 comments
The Coldest March

Two mates attempted to ride the length of Great Britain during the coldest March on record in 54 years…

Aug 5, 2015 2 comments
Well Used: Gevenalle GX Shifters for Mountain Bike Derailleurs
Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

For some reason, when Gevenalle first launched, I didn’t want to like their shifting mechanisms. They just seemed too contrived. A solution for a problem that didn’t exist. Perhaps it was their marketing, claiming to be designed for cyclocross racing. Sure, I read the product descriptions, the PR, looked at the photos but I still wasn’t convinced.

It wasn’t until I began to see the Gevenalle shifters on touring bikes that my interest was piqued. “Now that makes sense” I thought. Not running traditional road shifters on a touring bike is completely reasonable. The same can be said for barcons or downtube shifters. Why take your hand off the lever to shift? Sure. I get that.

The Gevenalle shifting system I recently spent time with is the GX shifters for mountain bike derailleurs. More specifically, a shifting system ideal for long-cage, dirt tourers like the Elephant NFE. (more…)

Jul 31, 2015 36 comments
Do I Have to Send it Back Already? the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting
Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

While we took a look at my own touring bike yesterday, I will say this with confidence: had I ridden the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer prior to ordering my Woodville two years ago, I would have drastically changed my views on 650b, disc brakes and trail.

The National Forest Explorer is a low-trail, 650b bike with disc brakes and a decent, not copious amount of tire clearance. These NFE’s are made by Glen Copus in Spokane, WA and pack quite the wallop of versatility in a beautiful, forest service green package. They’re made from lightweight steel for just the amount of liveliness. (more…)

Jul 29, 2015 72 comments
My Geekhouse Woodville Update: Handsome Mud Butler Fenders and Compass Barlow Pass Tires
My Geekhouse Woodville Touring Bike with Fenders

Fenders aren’t exactly my favorite bicycle accessory. Granted I live in Texas where it “never rains” or so it didn’t really until this year. We’ve had a very wet spring and summer, resulting in a lot of unexpected rain riding. So much so that I finally broke down and decided to ditch the big, plump tread of my Bruce Gordon Rock n Roads for some fenders and the biggest tire I could find that would fit…

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Jul 28, 2015 99 comments
Two Hot New Geekhouse Woodville Touring Bikes
woodvilles

The Geekhouse Woodville is the Boston-based framebuilding outfit’s touring model. Designed for long-hauls on the road or even around-town commuting, these frames are guaranteed to see their share of miles. This pair in particular was built for Bryn and Katie in Colorado, who have been more than psyched on their new bikes.

I’ve had some of my favorite moments on a bicycle on mine and still to this day find myself tweaking little details. More on that to come next week. For now, here are a few unique specimens, documented by Heather McGrath. Check out more photos below and read up at the Geekhouse website! (more…)

Jul 17, 2015 7 comments
Cycling Karelia

“Karelia was a convenient location for both friends to get to from their cities. Andrey and Alexander decided to start from there and then go wherever they would be able to — say, Vottovaara mountain, the highest spot of the west Karelia hills. It is said to be of a spiritual, somehow magical value, and different shamans or television people tend to come there a lot. They pray, dance, hug each other and seem to have a great time. But for the guys the definition of a great time is different — they were planning to get an unforgettable travelling experience and take a look at the wonderful Karelian nature in winter. And that was quite a challenge!”

Woah…

Jul 9, 2015 1 comment
Velo Orange: The Piolet Frame Has Landed
Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.41.43 AM

Velo Orange’s “all-road” tourer, the Piolet is now in stock. Designed to fit a large tire, in various wheel size platforms*, the Piolet can shred one-track, two-track and no-track. An affordable option for those wanting to take on bikepacking or excursion style riding. My favorite detail is the non-sus corrected segmented fork with all the braze-ons and the wishbone stays.

But the very best detail? The price. $685 for the frameset… See more information at Velo Orange!

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Jul 8, 2015 15 comments